Long before the pandemic, the software business GitLab operated completely remotely, building developer tools without a physical office. It was unusual in another sense. Co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij has set the final public offering date on November 18, 2020.
Covid-19 had other plans. However, both the corporate structure and the products that help businesses build, maintain, and protect websites and apps are already set up in many ways to drive more work online. GitLab didn’t have to wait that long. The company was unveiled on Thursday at Nasdaq under a ticker called “GTLB.” GitLab’s share price was $ 77, closing at $ 103.89 on the first day of trading, up 35%, bringing GitLab’s market capitalization to nearly $ 15 billion.
In an interview, Sijbrandij (pronounced “see Brandy”) said that publishing would help GitLab remain a resource-rich and long-standing steward for open source projects where business software is built. “This had to happen someday,” says Sijbrandij. “We knew we were ready and the market was ready, so why not take a step today?”
With revenue of $ 58 million in the previous quarter, a loss of $ 40 million, up 69% year-on-year, GitLab fits into the classic high-growth, low-profit inter-company software provider of recent cloud players. doing. Popular on Wall Street, it has proven to be able to command high multiples. Although losses have shrunk recently, GitLab is classified as an elite company in this category, creating a new business of about $ 1.50 for every $ 1 a customer previously spent on tools.
However, unlike recent companies such as Amplitude, Warby Parker, and Coinbase, which chose to go public directly instead of an IPO, GitLab has taken the traditional route. Direct listing proponents usually go to banks and insider investors to buy IPOs rather than the company itself, leaving millions of potential fuels behind on the first day. Point out the “pop” of. List company on the table. They point out that start-ups that raise private funding before going public may bring equivalent cash to a smaller portion of their company.
Like Snowflake CEO Frank Sloutman and others in front of him, Sijbrandij was unaffected by such an argument. GitLab’s CEO said he preferred to select investors through traditional IPO roadshows. “It’s great that there are so many options available to businesses,” he says. “There are many more possibilities available to entrepreneurs, so I encourage everyone to do due diligence and talk to several companies as they go through different processes. I think there is a good reason … we are really happy with the route [we chose], And are happy with the investors we were able to attract. ”
Perhaps an even bigger factor for GitLab. As a DevOps business, the company and its leaders wanted as much exposure as possible. GitLab has been actively selling and marketing in the last quarter in relation to revenue, and Sijbrandij can raise awareness and profile of GitLab’s potential customers, partners and investors by publishing it. Repeatedly stated. The company said it was the first Nasdaq to livestream the entire day of the IPO, with about 18,000 people stopping by during the broadcast.
Sijbrandij, a former submarine company employee and web project manager for the Dutch Ministry of Justice, launched GitLab in 2012 as a business built on an open source project created by Dmitriy Zaporozhets and Valley Sizov. Zaporozhets joined as co-founder and CTO a year later (Sizov continued in 2014). GitLab sells subscriptions to software tools that help you manage projects built on that technology, and charges you for a suite of 10 different tools at different stages of your app’s lifecycle. ..
In short, GitLab has competed not only with Microsoft’s subsidiary GitHub, but also with a variety of products from other companies such as infrastructure players and security specialists. “When we introduced security a few years ago, we saw a lot of revenue coming from security and interviewed those people.’Why did you buy this?'” Said Sijbrandij. increase. This tool wasn’t as good as the others yet, GitLab replied. However, customers will find vulnerabilities within GitLab sooner. It was easy to buy everything from one vendor, so I trusted GitLab to catch up over time. “It was a big booster for our growth,” says Sijbrandij.
In the process, Sijbrandij became known as one of the leading evangelists of remotework, advocating a radically transparent office culture rather than a hybrid, stating that it was fairer and more productive. increase.That purist view remains a recruitment advantage, he says. Forbes Now; it also helps explain live streams, some of the marketing opportunities, and how to include GitLab employees and supporters around the world. “It’s always in a closed room,” says Sijbrandij about the IPO festival and listing process. Sijbrandij from the Netherlands added that his parents were two viewers. “It was great to share it with the world.”
GitLab hasn’t fully announced the date of its first IPO declaration, but Sijbrandij says it’s important in October of this year as well. When he first went out to raise external capital in 2015, he built a company with CTO Dmitry The Pologuets, co-founder and one of the creators of the open source project where GitLab was built. Asked how long he worked. Ten years after the project started, Zaporozhets told Sijbrandij.
Sijbrandij admits that listing in November 2020 would have had its own symbolism and given some room for wiggles. However, with the first code commit to the GitLab project on October 8, 2011, the company’s IPO date is within a week of the Zaporozhets deadline. “It’s great to be able to celebrate that milestone together today,” says Sijbrandij.